Sam Smith Calls 'X Factor' 'Damaging' for Songwriters

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Sam Smith revealed that he never considered auditioning for TV music talent shows like X Factor because they can be "damaging" for songwriters. 

Speaking to the Mirror, Smith said it "was a very conscious decision for me not to audition. It is for people, and it isn't for people." The "Stay With Me" singer-songwriter added that X Factorwas "perfect for singers who sing, and that's all they want to do," but that ultimately "[y]ou're singing other people's songs. People are judging you on other people's music."

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Smith described how he knew X Factor and similar shows were not for him as soon as he started writing music. "I want people judging me on my voice and my songs -- that's what's important to me," adding: "I always say to people: 'If you're a singer, go for it.' It's an amazing platform. But if you're not, and you're a songwriter, I think it's actually quite damaging for you to go on there."

Smith's comments may be a bit surprising as he performed on the X Factor U.K. season 11 finale on Dec. 14, albeit his own song. Describing the experience as "amazing," Smith said he was disappointed he didn't get to meet the judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

"I didn't like that I didn't get to meet Simon and Cheryl," he said, adding: "I would have thought they would come and say hello, or I'd have got to go and say hello. But I never got to see them."

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